The only thing I regret about having written about spiritual abuse is the possibility that people who read our story and what I have written about spiritual abuse would define me according to that. I guess that’s a risk we all take as we blog about ourselves. While the words stay fixed in black and white, the people writing the words move forward, growing and changing.
This is the two-year anniversary of “the lynching” that began our experience with spiritual abuse. It has been helpful for me to reflect on the state of my emotional and spiritual health at this time. After two years, I can see that we have plodded through the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) with annoying predictability.
Due to the surprise factor, the initial shock and denial were overwhelming. Like suddenly learning of a mate’s infidelity, there was a lot of confusion about what occurred. The initial months were a piecing together of clues and situations leading up to the betrayal that we missed or that didn’t make sense at the time. It was at least six months until we fully understood what had happened.
During this time, I was also in the “why me” stage. I have a tendency to blame myself for things that go wrong, so this particular phase of examining what I should have done differently was pretty intense.
The depression stage seemed to hover like a cloud over the entire process. I withdrew from many things and found little joy in hobbies or recreation.
Last year at this time, we were fully immersed in the anger stage. I was not only angry at the people who put me in this state, I found myself really angry at God. During the early months, I trusted that He was leading us and had the entire situation under control. By the time one year hit, I expected that He would have exposed the things that were false and settled this injustice. Didn’t happen! Accepting that this wasn’t going to happen was key to moving on for me.
I never wanted to be a victim; the cold, hard facts are that we were targeted. I cannot change that. I wish we could have gone through the healing process faster, but I do not believe it was possible.
We are at the beginning stages of hope and acceptance. We are so ready to move on with our lives. As intrusive as this has been, we have no desire to make it our identity. We are reconciled to what has happened and our focus is now the present rather than the past.
Hope is emerging subtly.